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Learning Support Center

Mission of the Program

The mission of the DWS Learning Support Center is to provide a unique learning environment within a college preparatory school for students who have diagnosed mild to moderate learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder. All diagnoses must be documented by a current psychological evaluation. The program is designed to help students understand how to maximize their learning strengths and manage their weaknesses enabling them to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. The program values the worth of the individual and seeks to guide each in becoming proficient in problem solving and thus an independent learner.

Program Description

The Learning Support Program provides a comprehensive college-preparatory curriculum for bright students who learn differently. The academic environment provided in the Learning Support Center (LSC) is designed specifically for students of average or above-average intelligence who have a diagnosed learning disability documented by either a private or school psychologist. The program’s goal for each student is to provide personalized support necessary so that these intelligent but academically-challenged students can compete in the mainstream program and be adequately prepared for college upon graduation. It must be noted that this program is not designed for students whose achievement problems exist primarily because of below-average intelligence, poor motivation, or behavioral issues since such students are better served by other environments.

While it is not possible to offer extended, in-depth, one-to-one instruction and remediation within the framework of the school day, the faculty and staff is committed to help students grow as a whole person, to teach them to understand themselves, and to guide them in learning specific ways to enjoy their strengths and manage their weaknesses.

Lower School

The lower school learning support center program focuses on early identification of children with learning differences, provides early interventions and alternative academic support for these learners, and supports teachers implementing accommodations for these students in the mainstream classroom. There are different levels of support available for Lower School students.

Middle School

In sixth through eighth grades, the program continues to emphasize self-knowledge as well as the acquisition of academic skills necessary for college preparatory work. The program also supports teachers implementing accommodations for these students in the mainstream classroom. Students will transition from the LSC at the end of eighth grade; therefore, students must demonstrate clear potential and motivation necessary for success in the college preparatory curriculum before moving on to the Upper School.

Upper School

In ninth through twelfth grades, the Learning Support Center program supports students and teachers as they continue to collaborate so each student will be successful negotiating college preparatory work. DWS provides academic resources and support as the student continues to progress as an independent learner and steward of their accommodations.

Criteria and Procedures

Students must provide a current psycho-educational evaluation with diagnosis of the specific learning disability written by a private or school psychologist, evidence of average or above-average intellectual capability, a mild degree of academic disability, grade level achievement scores in some areas, and evidence of motivation toward academic achievement. It is also noted that all recommendations from a psychological may not be implemented. A Learning Support Committee will individually review each application. Decisions of the committee are final.